Friday, 11 June 2010

Opening Ceremonies

Why the fuck do they bother with opening ceremonies?

Opening ceremonies are the sporting equivalent of fancying someone for ages, working towards an opportunity of getting taken back into a cab to their place, getting in said cab, having an awkward fumble on the doorstep, and then just as you're about to be led to the bedroom your would-be lover decides to do a lap of the entire house trying on different clothes whilst you politely laugh and wonder whether or not to kill yourself.

They're shit. Ceremonies have no place in sport, the whole point of which is that most games are based on some sort of elaborately costumed and formulated set of alternative life rules anyway so fuck off. It's important we have certain rituals and traditions so as we don't all suddenly drop our tribal alleigances and suddenly become one humungous amorphous monoglottal Europony, I understand that. But, Jesus, these are dull. No child ever bought a World Cup sticker album in the hope of completing a 2 page representation of a bunch of highly excited locals dressed as footballs hurling themselves into the Goal of Life.

Red Bloke: I'm On Television. Yellow Bloke: What Is Television?

When I was a kid, there was a fantastic show called It's A Knockout. Which was basically a huge live colourful cross between Total Wipeout and the Eurovision Song Contest. Men dressed as Frankenstein would chase Heidi type girls down woodland paths and try not to fall into the water. Helpfully all the teams wore their country's initials on their back so we knew who won. Britain joined in but part of the fun was that we never won and we had a good laugh at crazy Johnny Foreigner.

That was the only combination of competitiveness and ridiculous costume that has ever worked. There were no opening rituals, none needed. And what's worse is the Olympics are only two years away. Any sense of national superiority, already a pretty sparse commodity, will vanish the moment David Cameron and the Queen press a big magic button and a little part of East London will be filled with thousands of gaily coloured schoolchildren forming a gigantic Hitler on the pitch and then flipping some cards onto their heads to reveal a Coca Cola can. Or something. Ceremonies are basically a way of saying "Look we're fairly unlikely to win any medals or cups or stuff but look at the way our national resources can be squandered for just a few minutes primetime advertising dollars."

Stop these ceremonies now. Funerals aside, let's just cut to the chase on everything. Rituals are for primitives, not sophisticated iphone-using metrosexual uberconsumers like ourselves.

Imagine how much money would be saved by having trials that lasted ten minutes. Judge walks in, jury walks in. Defendant says their bit. Prosecution theirs. Judge asks the jury what do you reckon. Simple as that. Crime might rise, it might fall. It doesnt matter. We'd save a fortune in legal costs and that's all that matters in the current age of Fred Austere.

In fact, we should use that as the opening ceremony for London 2012. No dancers, no paper lions, none of that shit. Just straight into the action, no declaring the Games open, no lighting of the torch (I mean who the fuck does anything by flaming torch light now, apart from Goths and perverts) - straight into the 100 metres or something. Tell the world we're such sports fans we couldn't be arsed spending 18 months telling Hackney schoolkids how to form the shape of a traditional London bus before exploding into various symbolic directions as a spray painted bunch of pigeons shit the Olympics logo whilst that little one out of Diversity does a dance. Send a message to the world, that will. No more ceremonies, thanks very much.

Having the World Cup in South Africa is basically like letting a starving kiddywink watch you cook a massive roast dinner, then eating it in front of them and leaving the stripped bones outside for them to play with. The opening ceremony is a smoke screen, a trick of the light, look everyone we dont have the most quickly widening gulf between rich and poor on Earth and to prove it we've dressed some locals up as brightly coloured birds.

Goallless draw I reckon, this one.

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